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My blogging platform, I’ve been using it for a few years and I recommend it highly.

Written By: Gary on December 11, 2008 No Comment

oldgarylapointe.com.jpgSo I’ve had some pretty crappy pages up at GaryLaPointe.com and I was just planning on putting up WordPress as a CMS for it. Coincidentally, when I went to download one of the betas of WordPress 2.7, it turns out they had just released the final version of WordPress 2.7 so I used that! So far it’s working really great and I’m really liking the 2.7 admin interface (I really didn’t like the 2.6 interface) I think I originally started with 2.3.x.

Now GaryLaPointe.com looks nice. Although if you frequent this site there probably isn’t much there that you haven’t seen here (maybe some photos or something).

It’s got some great new features. I especially like the clickable installation of plug-ins and widgets (but it really needs a much much better search to find them). It’s supposed to run with GoogleGears, but I’m not really sure what it’s actually supposed to be saving me.

Here’s a video showing off some of the new features. Notice the HD link in the upper right corner for some great quality and try it full screen, you’ll love it.

I’ll be using it more and I hope to discover more features as time goes on (and as I wait for the Second Edition of WordPress for Dummies).FYI, If you’re reading this site there isn’t really anything you’re missing at GaryLaPointe.com, it’s mostly just reruns and stripped down versions of what I post here and on some of the social networks. It’s where I point other people for things about my travels without pointing them to all the other stuff I blog about here; I just feel that’s more professional with co-workers and such…

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Written By: Gary on October 14, 2008 One Comment

Current has a post up called “Candidates as…” and this shows one of the many images of the candidates compared to different types of objects with visual analogies. Yes, this does pick on the candidates, avert your eyes if especially sensitive.

Candidates-As-Writing-Technology

They also have other ones with the candidates based on money, trains, Star Trek characters (and The Matrix and The Simpsons), airplanes, watches and more. Almost Edward Tufte-ian in their simplicity to get their point across with very few images.

Found at The Fire Wire (with Google Reader).Since I’m bringing up election politics again (not my normal thing). I was just listening to this Jay Leno interview with Rachel Maddow, I had know idea who she was before listening (has a show on MSNBC) and listened for the whole eight minutes; that’s pretty long for my attention span, especially if it’s about politics…

Odd coincidence:
And at the end Leno mentioned Rachel Yamagata was on next which was really weird since I had just finished listening to the preview of Elephants…Teeth Sinking Into Heart just moments before and debating a purchase. I’m off to see if YouTube has a video of her performance now…

Written By: Gary on July 26, 2008 2 Comments

So I’m tempted to migrate to WordPress (from Movable Type) I think I’ve got it all figured out on how to even retain my current URLs (as crummy as they are) so that I don’t have a bunch of broken links.

One of my worries is right now a lot of my pages score pretty good in Google searches, amazingly good sometimes, especially since my site doesn’t rank super high anyways, and I’m afraid of losing that rank. I’m not sure if it’s just that I built my pages well? or maybe my meta tags or if the structure of the page helps? or what? It’s just always done pretty good so I don’t mess with it.

What will I lose if I convert? What might I gain?The other thought is to leave my Movable Type site alone, delete the index page and use WordPress from now on but have links to the old pages. I’d need to keep the MT software so that comments and search would still work (I’d modify the WP search pages to say “you only searched the new site, click here to search for old stuff”). But I’d still have to maintain updates and such on the old site and check for spam and more….

Hmmm…. I’m either talking myself out of keeping the old one separate or possibly not migrating at all. I’m not sure which…

Written By: Gary on February 3, 2008 No Comment

I waited so long for WordPress For Dummies, by Lisa Sabin-Wilson, and it was well worth the wait. I had been wanting to learn WordPress and had been a fan of Lisa’s blog so it was just what I needed as a motivator.

It’s a “Dummies” book so it’s got that easy to use format. And it’s a reference book so most of it is not meant to be read linearly. If you’ve always wanted to set up a blog or switch to WordPress this is the way to go. It explains it from the basics up to the advanced. It’s step by step and it’ll get you running on your own host or at WordPress.com with ease.

It covers Migrating to WP, 10 Great Free Themes, Ten Great Plugins, Using WP as a Content Management System, Understanding Templates and Plug-ins. It covers pretty much everything you need to know but those are the chapters I’ve read the most and use for reference. If you don’t know anything about PHP you’ll painlessly learn the bits that you do need to know for modifying templates (this is optional) and you’ll have picked up enough for when you want to use PHP for other “web stuff”.

As I’m writing this post, I’m flipping through the book seeing if there is anything I’ve missed mentioning. There are so many areas of WP that I haven’t explored yet, I’ve read about them in the book and I can’t wait to try out some of the other features!Just about everything I’ve needed to know was in there, the only thing that I couldn’t find was detailed info on custom-fields which was (probably correctly) considered too advanced for a Dummies book.

There are 3 different flavors of WordPress (they host, you host, and multi-user) and they all share multiple features so just pay attention to which flavor she’s talking about and you’ll be fine.

It’s an awesome book! If you want to set up your own blog, self-hosted or not, WordPress is easy to use and WordPress For Dummies is the book to use.

Written By: Gary on February 2, 2008 One Comment

I’ve always been a huge fan of Movable Type, but I’ve been playing with WordPress on and off lately and I think it might become my new blogging platform for anything new I create. I’m not sure if I’m willing to export and import my old blog and lose a bunch of Google results because the pages aren’t named the same or because of something else unforeseen.

Here’s my whole comparison wrapped up in to two sentences –

I think WordPress is easier to setup and it’s also easier for beginners to do advanced things with WP than Movable Type. From the other side, I think that doing really advanced things is easier with Movable Type, while doing ultra-advanced things are probably equal between the two.

The biggest thing I don’t like in WordPress is how dynamic things are and if your web host goofs something up, the dynamic stuff chokes which would be your whole site; I’ve seen this happen with several different hosts. In MT I kept my main page and individual page posts static, and the rest dynamic so at least the whole thing didn’t crash. Also, the dynamic-ishness of the pages slows things down a little. But it’s so very easy, I can’t even tell you how easy it was to do an upgrade (one tip: if you modify a default template to use, be sure to rename the folder it’s in and you won’t accidentally over-write it when you upgrade). On the other hand, when I post something to WP it’s very very quick since it’s not rebuilding things. That’s really nice to be done as soon as you post.

So far it’s also been much easier to do (incremental) upgrades with WordPress. It’s actually so easy, I’m surprised they haven’t added a few other steps which would make it one-click. It’s really disabling the plug-ins, copying the new directories over the old and reactivating the plug-ins; I’m sure this could be made one-click to “halt” the plug-ins, copy from the path that you specify, clear the cache and start the plug-ins back up.

Written By: Gary on February 2, 2008 No Comment

WordPress.com is a place where you can have your own blog, it’s got lots of great features and it’s free! They do have some advance features you can pay for like your own custom domain name, more disk space and other great features.

Here’s the newest great part: they used to only have free storage of 50 MB of files and they just upgraded your free space to 3 GB (that’s 3,000 MB) so that’s a heck of a free upgrade! It’s not that 50 MB is all that small, but a bunch of photos from your 8-megapixel camera and you can fill it up pretty quick, 3 gig is a very generous amount of free space. Now they are selling 5 GB upgrades for the old price of 1 GB upgrades. If you already purchased a storage upgrade they’ve automatically increased the storage space.

One of the many reasons I’m liking the WordPress community more and more…

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Written By: Gary on February 1, 2008 No Comment

I’ve got a few posts about WordPress that I’ve never finished up (including a book review). So I plan to post them and get them out of my drafts folder. I’m writing this down so that I’ll remind myself to finally get this done :)

Aren’t you excited!?!I’ll probably take my tree down too…

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Written By: Gary on December 15, 2007 One Comment

So it’s snowing and we’re supposed to get a lot tonight (the “don’t park in the street” siren already went off). I’m geeked about that since it doesn’t seem like Christmas without it.

But I’ve noticed I’ve still got a fall theme up on my blog so I’ll be changing that to a Christmas theme that I’ve used before (if I can find all the parts). I’ve been learning WordPress and so far I’ve learned it’s SO much easier to change themes in WP than in Movable Type…

So it looks funny over the next hour or so, I’m working on getting out the fall colors!

Written By: Gary on November 5, 2007 2 Comments

So I’ve really been wanting to try WordPress for my blogging. It’s been growing in use (at least the people I’m reading are using it) and more and more internet providers seem to be including it with packages. So it really seems to be a product to use, I’ve been a devoted MovableType user for just under 4 years and I’m willing to try something new…

A few reasons besides jumping on the bandwangon with everyone else (a lemming, I am not): I like the default templates more than MT’s, I think it looks easier to use and set up for beginners (this would be for me helping other people, I like complicated) and they’re not lacking any plugins (1,198 and counting). Also, it’s time to learn something new and this like it’s well worth learning…

My copy of WordPress For Dummies still hasn’t shipped and I’ve bugged Lisa (the author) a few times about buying an autographed copy and now she’s having a contest to give away a few autographed copies for her anniversary! So this is my post/entry to count as my entry for that…

Written By: Gary on October 27, 2007 One Comment

WordPress For Dummies, 3rd Edition Lisa Sabin-WilsonWordPress For Dummies is coming out on Monday (a few weeks early), and it looks like it covers most of the new features that are in WordPress. I’ve been reading Lisa Sabin-Wilson’s blog (JustAGirlInTheWorld.com) for a few years, but generally the tech info doesn’t help me since I’m not a WP user. Since I’ve been wanting to try WP for a while now (I’ve just played with it a little bit recently) this will help me on my way. So keep an eye out and pick up a copy (or order it on-line) when you get a chance…

I just ran up to Border’s to make sure it wasn’t on the shelves already and it wasn’t out, so I’ll leave my pre-order with Amazon (and save 5% since it’s a pre-order and the price is guaranteed if it drops).Three Fallen Women Amy GuthIt’s actually in to be shipped with Three Fallen Women by Amy Guth who happens to be another blogger (bigmouth indeed strikes again) that I read. Gotta order $25 or more to get free shipping so it seemed a good time to get it…

Written By: Gary on September 24, 2007 2 Comments

So many times I wish I could call someone late at night or early in the day to leave a message without waking them. THere are some services that delay delivery like this, but they’re (at least in the past) costly and slightly difficult.

Jott BetaEnter Jott: It lets you set up a list of people on-line. You call Jott say who/what you want to Jott (you put yourself in the list too) and then leave a thirty second message and it sends it to their e-mail. Did I leave out that it very accurately transcribes the audio file into text for you too?!? And it’s free?!? And it includes an audio file link too, just in case the transcription is garbled. Think about that before I tell you what else it does…

It’ll post it to a blog for you too (Blogger, WordPress (even if self-hosted), TypePad, LiveJournal), it’ll Twitter and Jaiku it for you too and post it to a Yahoo! Group and 30 boxes and you can use it to get Zillow (home value) quotes too. And it’ll set up reminders for you too. It’s all hands-free with your phone. And it’s free!I just posted a sample Jott for you to read, if you listen you can hear a slight mistake but it’s close enough, you’ve never know unless you listened to it. Other than the sentence in bold that says to read this message, it’s just cut and patse. FYI, the sample is a cheat, I really posted it to WordPress and just copied the post here for demonstrations sake. It currently does not work on Movable Type, I think it’s just the way MT handles multiple blogs, but since it uses XMLRPCs pretty close to the other blogs I’m hoping it’s a simple fix (but it’s beyond me).

You must try this!!! I’ve get it set for a few friends, my work e-mail and my home e-mail so I can just call with reminders for me or to get free 30 second transcriptions of text for e-mail that I need to send back at the office.

Sometimes it does take a few minutes (no more than 5 minutes, usually 2 minutes) for the Jott to get transcribed.

Written By: Gary on September 23, 2007 One Comment

So I normally don’t put too many topics per post, actually I generally only put one topic per post. But I’ve been sick and all my little post-its on things to blog about are getting too long. So I’ll steal the Bullet Sunday idea from Dave for this week.

  • Sick – I’ve been lousy with a few different things for the last few weeks, I’ve been so fuzzy I pretty much need to wear my reading glasses all the time it’s usually just late at night (and sometimes early mornings). I’m actually think the few different things are fighting it out in my body, or the drugs are now what’s causing a problem. I couldn’t get into the doctor on Saturday (actually she didn’t think another visit would do any good). I’ll have someone look up the drugs and see if I’m having any problems between them it’s the dry mouth and bad taste that popped up in the last 36 hours that’s making me think drug interactions.
  • WordPress – WordPress is one of the larger blogging platforms, lots of plug-ins and looks well supported. For example, on Wednesday Matt (a WP developer) is having a WordPress 2.3 upgrade party in San Francisco

    WordPress 2.3 is coming out on Monday, so come out Wednesday evening and upgrade your blog with the pros. How badly can you screw it up when the developers are right there? If you upgrade your blog before Wednesday come and help out others and make feature requests.

    I think it’s kind of a cool idea I’d go if I were in the area and I don’t even really use it. I’m hoping I can hold off to really using it until after Lisa Sabin-Wilson’s WordPress for Dummies book is published. What I don’t like about WP is that it’s all dynamic (but that’s part of what I do like about it too). The dynamic-ness is just going to slow things down; I liked that in MT you can make some pages static and some dynamic but the cool part is MT will cache the pages once it generates them until the next post so it’s semi-static. Keep in mind you break some important dynamic function, everything is probably going to break. I think my next blog experiments will be with WP….

  • Jott – Way cool I’ll post more on this soon.
  • Legion of Super Heroes – Season one was great but season two (started yesterday) has the Superman from the 41st century (actually a clone of the 21st century Superman) who has traveled back to the 31st(?) to work with Legion and (I’m assuming) the SuperBoy/Man of the 21st century. It seems like it’s going to be a little two complicated. They characters seem liked the characters have gotten a little bit older too (Duo Damsel is so cute).

  • Snakehead – A new Alex Rider novel is coming out. They’ve definitely gotten better as the books went along, I recently re-read the first one and it’s no where near as good as the later ones.
  • Twitter – Mini blog posts that you can read on-line or receive as text messages all day long. I don’t get it but then again, I didn’t get blogging at first either. But personal blogging at that level is too much, IMHO. News might be interesting, weather(?), local bands as to when they are performing (sometimes I just want to know what time they are performing). I did set up a page and grabbed a dozen people to listen too (but I don’t get paged, I actually have to go and look); if I find anything super (probably news/weather or something like that) I might have them go to my cell phone…
  • Season Premiers – I re-watched the season premiers of a few shows, I had a chance to see some early promos of some and they changed them a bit. The Big Bang Theory got edited in a few spots, I actually think it’s less funny for those scenes. Bionic Woman also got changed and I think it flows a little better, I certainly enjoyed it better. The odd part was that they switch out her sister (who lives with her) from a punky deaf girl to a regular rebellious teen; that seemed like a huge strange switch.
  • Written By: Gary on July 13, 2007 One Comment

    Over at The Good Human it was mentioned that a “13 year old understands better than most how jeans are made” and so I went over to Simple Living to read it. Madison, the bloggers daughter, wrote it and it’s a great explanation on the resources used to make jeans so go take a quick look at it…

    Written By: Gary on April 15, 2007 One Comment

    You’ve just been given a $2000 tax refund (that’s like $5000 dollars for you all in Canada and about 1200 pounds for you in the UK and, I don’t know what for you Aussies) but you must use it to buy home decorations.

  • What will you buy at the home decor/furniture store? (from the Question of the Day, please answer the question on their site (or your site and link back), they want to know you’re playing)

    Certainly, a new living room couch and chair/loveseat. I’ve looked lately and seen nothing exciting…

    And I could use some new curtains in the bedroom and kitchen (nothing fancy) the old ones need replacing from me laving the window open and then getting blown all about….

  • Written By: Gary on May 31, 2004 No Comment

    I really don’t like my categories as they stand. I either want to expand them or shrink them. I’m really thinking of trying something else so I can ultra categorize everything. I’m thinking:

  • TECH: gizmos, apple, computers, portable
  • MEDIA: movies, books, tv, images, joan
  • PEOPLE: family, friends, kids, strangers
  • ME: blog, meme, family
  • INTERNET: web, blog, portable
    Supposedly WordPress is pretty diverse in this manner, but I’m not sure if it’ll cross-reference (like have the FAMILY under ME be the exact same as the one under PEOPLE).

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